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AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION:
Anderson, Michelle D. 2004. Leymus salinus. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: https://www.fs.fed.us /database/feis/plants/graminoid/leysal/all.html .
Revisions: On 3 October 2017, the common name of this species was changed in FEIS from: Salina wildrye
to: saline wildrye.
Elymus salinus M.E. Jones [19,22,34,35,69]
= Leymus salinus (M.E. Jones) A. Love subsp. salinus 
NRCS PLANT CODE: 
The scientific name of saline wildrye is Leymus salinus (M.E. Jones) A. Love (Poaceae) [10,33,41,68].
Salina wildrye subspecies are as follows:
Leymus salinus ssp. salinus
Leymus salinus (M.E. Jones) A. Love subsp. mohavensis Barkworth & Atkins [10,30,33]
Leymus salinus (M.E. Jones) A. Love subsp. salmonis (C.L. Hitchc.) Atkins [10,30,33]
Saline wildrye (L. s. subsp. salmonis) hybridizes with bottlebrush
squirreltail (Elymus elymoides), though
resulting plants are sterile .
FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS:
No special status
Plants database provides a distributional map of
Saline wildrye and its infrataxa.
FRES21 Ponderosa pine
FRES30 Desert shrub
FRES34 Chaparral-mountain shrub
FRES36 Mountain grasslands
FRES40 Desert grasslands
STATES/PROVINCES: (key to state/province abbreviations)
Saline wildrye is often a dominant grass in Gambel oak (Quercus gambelii) and pinyon-juniper communities . In Colorado pinyon (Pinus edulis) -Utah juniper (J. osteosperma) stands, saline wildrye occurs with black sagebrush (A. nova), plains prickly-pear (Opuntia polyacantha), Fremont's goosefoot (Chenopodium fremontii), nodding buckwheat (Eriogonum cernuum), and Indian ricegrass (Achnatherum hymenoides) . In singleleaf pinyon (P. monophylla)-Utah juniper/ Rocky Mountain juniper (J. scopulorum) it occurs with bluebunch wheatgrass (Pseudoroegneria spicata) and green rabbitbrush (Chrysothamnus viscidiflorus) . Other common species in pinyon-juniper communities include Ross' sedge (Carex rossii), western wheatgrass (Pascopyrum smithii), needle-and-thread grass (Hesperostipa comata), galleta (Pleuraphis jamesii), mutton grass (Poa fendleriana), and Sandberg bluegrass (P. secunda) .
In true mountain-mahogany (Cercocarpus montanus) types, saline wildrye occurs with Fremont's goosefoot, nodding buckwheat, and Indian ricegrass . In curlleaf mountain-mahogany (C. ledifolius) communities, common associates are Indian ricegrass, blue grama (Bouteloua gracilis), and mountain big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata ssp. vaseyana) . In the Great Basin desert shrub communities, saline wildrye is commonly found with winterfat (Krascheninnikovia lanata), Indian ricegrass, galleta, globemallow (Sphaeralcea spp.), spiny hopsage (Grayia spinosa), black sagebrush, budsage (A. spinescens), fourwing saltbush (Atriplex canescens), bottlebrush squirreltail, and dropseeds (Sporobolus spp.) .
Saline wildrye may codominate with Wyoming big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata ssp. wyomingensis), shadscale (Atriplex confertifolia), or Gardner's saltbush (A. gardneri) in Colorado [8,9].
Classifications identifying saline wildrye as a plant community dominant include the following:
Saline wildrye is a native perennial grass [10,19,33,69]. It grows in dense tufts that are mostly erect and 13 to 55 inches (35-140 cm) tall [10,19,69].
Saline wildrye leaves are primarily basal, 0.04 to 0.2 inch (1-5 mm) wide, and may be flat or more often strongly involute [10,19,22,69]. Leaves are glabrous to rarely pubescent [19,69]. The slender, erect spikes are 1.6 to 6 inches (4-15 cm) long and 0.1 to 0.3 inch (2.5-8 mm) wide [10,19,69]. Spikelets are usually solitary at nodes, but occasionally occur in pairs at some or all nodes [10,19,68]. Spikelets are 0.35 to 0.8 inch (9-20 mm) long with 2 to 6 flowers [10,19,69].
Saline wildrye is occasionally rhizomatous [10,69]. Rhizomes are generally stout
and short [10,22,69], though they may also be well-developed . Some controversy
exists as to the consistency with which saline wildrye exhibits a rhizomatous growth
habit. Cronquist and others  describe large saline wildrye bunches that give
the appearance of being nonrhizomatous, especially when growing on heavy clay soils;
however, under close inspection, short rhizomes are apparent.
RAUNKIAER  LIFE FORM:
Little information on the regeneration processes of saline wildrye is presently available, though it apparently employs both sexual and vegetative modes of reproduction .
Breeding system: No information is available on this topic.
Pollination: No information is available on this topic.
Seed production: Seed production of saline wildrye has been described as "good" .
Seed dispersal: When established by transplant, saline wildrye spreads readily by seeding .
Seed banking: No information is available on this topic.
Germination: No information is available on this topic.
Seedling establishment/growth: Limited information indicates that initial seedling establishment of saline wildrye is not highly successful due to the combined effects of low seed germination and poor seedling vigor. Once established, however, saline wildrye spreads readily, persists on a variety of sites [47,48] and grows rapidly .
saline wildrye spreads readily through vegetative growth .
Saline wildrye is found on dry slopes, steep rocky mountainsides and flat to gently sloping benches, ridges, saddles, and plateaus [9,10,19,30,35,47,64,68,69]. Other typical sites include alkaline bluffs, washes, canyon sides, and alluvial fans . Soils range from fine textured clays and loams [9,19,21,68] to coarse textured sand and rock [21,69], though growth is better on intermediate soil textures than on sands or clays . Atkins and others  suggest that subspecies salmonis is adapted to more xeric sites than subspecies salinus. Saline wildrye is drought resistant and moderately tolerant of alkaline environments [9,19,47,64], though it rarely occurs on low-lying alkaline sites .
Though some authors report that saline wildrye is restricted to a narrow elevational range , it actually occurs from just over 4,000 feet to 10,000 feet (1,200-3,050 m), indicating a wide range of occurrence [9,21,30,34,35,69]. Elevational ranges for saline wildrye are presented by state below:
|Arizona||5,000 feet (1,525 m)|||
|California||4,430-6,650 feet (1,350-2,000 m)|||
|Colorado||5,200-8,500 feet (1,585-2,590 m)|||
|Nevada||5,000-6,500 feet (1,525-1,980 m)|||
|Utah||4,990-10,000 feet (1,520-3,050 m)||[21,69]|
|Wyoming||8,200 feet (2,500 m)|||
Little is known regarding the specific relationship between saline wildrye and
fire. Saline wildrye rarely occurs in pure stands ; it is generally found as
a minor or occasionally dominant component of several plant communities.
Fire return intervals for plant communities and ecosystems in which saline wildrye occurs
are summarized below. Find further fire regime information for the plant communities in which this
species may occur by entering the species name in the FEIS home page under "Find Fire Regimes".
|Community or Ecosystem||Dominant Species||Fire Return Interval Range (years)|
|silver sagebrush steppe||Artemisia cana||5-45 [29,49,72]|
|sagebrush steppe||Artemisia tridentata/Pseudoroegneria spicata||20-70 |
|basin big sagebrush||Artemisia tridentata var. tridentata||12-43 |
|mountain big sagebrush||Artemisia tridentata var. vaseyana||15-40 [3,17,44]|
|Wyoming big sagebrush||Artemisia tridentata var. wyomingensis||10-70 (40**) [65,73]|
|saltbush-greasewood||Atriplex confertifolia-Sarcobatus vermiculatus||< 35 to < 100|
|desert grasslands||Bouteloua eriopoda and/or Pleuraphis mutica||5-100 |
|plains grasslands||Bouteloua spp.||< 35 [45,72]|
|blue grama-needle-and-thread grass-western wheatgrass||Bouteloua gracilis-Hesperostipa comata-Pascopyrum smithii||< 35 [45,52,72]|
|blue grama-buffalo grass||Bouteloua gracilis-Buchloe dactyloides||< 35 [45,72]|
|grama-galleta steppe||Bouteloua gracilis-Pleuraphis jamesii||< 35 to < 100|
|blue grama-tobosa prairie||Bouteloua gracilis-Pleuraphis mutica||< 35 to < 100 |
|cheatgrass||Bromus tectorum||< 10 [46,71]|
|curlleaf mountain-mahogany*||Cercocarpus ledifolius||13-1,000 [5,54]|
|mountain-mahogany-Gambel oak scrub||Cercocarpus ledifolius-Quercus gambelii||< 35 to < 100|
|blackbrush||Coleogyne ramosissima||< 35 to < 100|
|Arizona cypress||Cupressus arizonica||< 35 to 200|
|western juniper||Juniperus occidentalis||20-70|
|Rocky Mountain juniper||Juniperus scopulorum||< 35 |
|wheatgrass plains grasslands||Pascopyrum smithii||< 5-47+ [45,49,72]|
|pinyon-juniper||Pinus-Juniperus spp.||< 35 |
|Rocky Mountain lodgepole pine*||Pinus contorta var. latifolia||25-340 [11,12,59]|
|Colorado pinyon||Pinus edulis||10-400+ [24,26,36,45]|
|Jeffrey pine||Pinus jeffreyi||5-30 |
|interior ponderosa pine*||Pinus ponderosa var. scopulorum||2-30 [2,7,40]|
|Arizona pine||Pinus ponderosa var. arizonica||2-15 [7,18,55]|
|galleta-threeawn shrubsteppe||Pleuraphis jamesii-Aristida purpurea||< 35 to < 100 |
|quaking aspen (west of the Great Plains)||Populus tremuloides||7-120 [2,28,43]|
|mesquite||Prosopis glandulosa||< 35 to < 100 [42,45]|
|mesquite-buffalo grass||Prosopis glandulosa-Buchloe dactyloides||< 35 |
|mountain grasslands||Pseudoroegneria spicata||3-40 (10**) [1,2]|
|Rocky Mountain Douglas-fir*||Pseudotsuga menziesii var. glauca||25-100 [2,3,4]|
|oak-juniper woodland (Southwest)||Quercus-Juniperus spp.||< 35 to < 200 |
|oak savanna||Quercus macrocarpa/Andropogon gerardii-Schizachyrium scoparium||2-14 [45,67]|
|little bluestem-grama prairie||Schizachyrium scoparium-Bouteloua spp.||< 35 |
Palatability/nutritional value: Saline wildrye provides a moderate amount of fair quality, coarse forage during the growing season, but is unpalatable when mature and dried [64,69]. Palatability has been rated poor to good for sheep and fair to good for cattle and horses . The following table presents nutritional information of saline wildrye sampled in Utah :
|Cal./kg||% protein||% carbohydrate||% fat||% ash||% moisture|
Saline wildrye cover value has been rated poor to fair for mule deer,
poor to good for upland game birds, and fair to good for small nongame
birds and small mammals .
VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES:
Saline wildrye may be useful for revegetating burned  or otherwise disturbed areas . It establishes moderately well from transplants, and will spread by seed once established . Saline wildrye is valuable for soil stabilization on steep, erosive clay hillsides .
No information is available on this topic.
OTHER MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS:
Field trials in the eastern Central Great Plains demonstrated that Saline wildrye has high survivability and forage production potential, perhaps indicating usefulness in livestock production . However, excessive livestock grazing may decrease saline wildrye success .
Saline wildrye increases in density following shrub overstory removal .
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